8 Major Functions Of Mouth Guards

8 Major Functions Of Mouth Guards

Apr 01, 2020

Studies have shown up to 5 million teeth are damaged each year during sports. We can attribute these avulsions and damages to failure of wearing mouth guards when playing sports.

Can you have a mouth guard and still take an injury in your teeth? Yes. Poorly fitted or fabricated mouth guards will not certainly offer the protection required. That’s why it is important to stay keen on the type of mouth guard you purchase, and where you buy it.

Types of Mouth Guards

Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry offers the following types of mouth guards.

Stock Mouth guards

These mouth guards come already crafted and ready to wear. You can get them from your dentist or any sporting store near you. They are inexpensive compared to other types. However, not much can be done about them if stock mouth guards don’t fit. They offer little to no protection and are likely to slip out.

Boil and Bite

Boil n Bite mouth protectors are an advanced option to stock mouth guards. Similarly, they can be bought from local sporting stores and good department stores. They are made from a thermoplastic material that is heated in water to expand and fit your jaw. You can fit them in your mouth as desired using your tongue or fingers. This type offers a better fit than stock mouth guards.

Custom-fitted mouth guards

This is the ultimate type of mouth guard you need for sporting, as they are ideally crafted by your dentist in the office or lab. They are fabricated according to your dentist’s instruction, so they offer a perfect fit. Due to the procedures involved, they come at a higher price but are more comfortable in your mouth and give extra protection.

After settling on the decision of acquiring a mouth guard, it’s advisable to discuss with your pediatric dentist the options available. This gives you a chance to provide the dentist with the exact specifications you need, so they determine the best type of mouth protector for you.

A good mouth guard should feel comfortable in your mouth, be durable to resist breakage and tears, easily cleanable, and it should not restrict your speech or breathing.

What are their various functions?

Discussed below are 8 reasons you need a mouth guard.

Protecting soft tissues

You might think that mouth guards only safeguard against tooth damage and that’s wrong. They also act as buffers between teeth and soft lip and cheeks tissues to prevent damage against direct impacts in the face.

Tooth Grinding

Mouth guards for teeth grinding are specially for people who grind their teeth when sleeping. Grinding your upper and lower teeth against each other creates an abrasion effect and could wear them down. Kids are the ones mostly affected by teeth grinding habits. That is why we offer kids mouth guards for the night time norm.

Averting tooth fractures

When playing vigorous sports such as boxing, soccer football and rugby, there are high chances of taking heavy facial blows. Mouth guards come as a cushion between teeth. They play the role of distributing impacted force throughout the mouth, minimizing the possibility of injury whatsoever.

Neurologic Safety

A blow on your jaws has traumatic effects on the base of the skull. This occurs as the jaws shake violently together, distributing the force of impact from the mandible condyles to the skull and the brain at large. At this point, the chances of a concussion are quite high.

If you have a mouth guard, the impact is evenly distributed in the mandible reducing effect to the skull so no concussions.

Increased Confidence

Results suggest that athletes with proper protection, in this case, a mouth guard, tend to be more aggressive and confident to play the game.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition which causes breathing difficulties while sleeping. In severe situations, breathing can temporarily stop, which deprives the brain of enough oxygen and could lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Having night guards ensures your airway is open throughout the night. This is achieved by pushing the tongue and lower jaw, ensuring smooth passage of air while you sleep.


Mouthguards can also help control intense snoring while you sleep. Snoring is caused by vibrations of the soft tissues in the upper air tract. Just like for sleep apnea, mouth guards for snoring shift your lower jaw forward, keeping the airway open, so your breathing is unbroken.

Mandible Safety

When idle, the lower jaw rests in an unsupported angle. This way, the jaw bone can easily be injured by the slightest impacts. Mouth guards provide uplifting support that significantly minimizes the possibility of damage or fracturing of the jaw bone in case of shock.

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